On March 17th, the newly formed Sukhu govt. laid out their primary policies aimed at supporting the state's move to renewable energy and making Himachal a "Green Energy State" during its budget proceeds. With the state's enormous potential for green energy production, the government has been developing the foundation for Himachal to become a power-efficient and low-fossil-fuel emitter state. The state government has announced that it will engage in several green energy programs to meet the state's energy demand from renewable energy sources. The main focus of the govt will be reducing air, sound, and related pollution.
Several initiatives selected by the state government for becoming a green energy state till 2026:
- Solar schemes: Target of 500 MW for FY 2023-24.
- Green Panchayats Scheme: 2 panchayats will be selected from each distt. to set up as green panchayats on a trial basis.
- HP will be developed as a "model state for electric vehicles".
- Green corridors will be created along main highways which pass through major cities and towns.
- HRTC dept. will be transformed into "Electric state transport dept.".
- A "Green Hydrogen Policy" will be developed to pave way for the state to develop a viable green energy source for the future.
- Hydro-power plant setup will be accelerated with this year's goal of 1000 MW energy. Further, a policy to attract private investment in these projects will be formed.
- Pangi: To address the shortage of power, the government will install a solar-powered battery storage device.
Major programs to start this year:
- Rs. 2000 Cr, “HP power sector development program” through World Bank help will start this year. 200 MW solar projects will be set up under the program. The project will be spread within 13 major cities/towns, with 11 substations and two power lines provision.
- Rs 1000 Cr to be spent on converting 1500 HRTC diesel buses to E-buses in a phased manner.
- With HPTCL investment of Rs. 464 Cr: 6 EHV sub-station, 5 transmission lines, and a centralized control center will be set up.
- Centralized cells for the sale/purchase of green energy will be set up to maximize the revenue.
Subsidies declared to encourage the use of green energy for coming years during the budget session:
- Subsidy for solar plants: Locals will get a 40% subsidy to build a 250KW-2MW solar plant on leased or owned property.
- E-vehicle subsidy: PVT bus and truck operators: 50% subsidy (up to 50 lacs) for the acquisition of a new vehicle.
- Set up of charging station: 50% subsidy proposal, but a final policy to be laid down in collaboration with the state energy board.